If We Don’t Understand Our Fears, We Don’t Know Our Opponent

· September 21, 2017

Fears, most commonly unfounded, about bad things that could happen to us or cause us some type of future harm, are the main causes of our dissatisfaction. We all hide some fears which lead us to behave in an evasive way in certain crucial situations in our lives. Thus, there is no greater opponent than ourselves and our own fears. We all need to understand our fears.

Fears emerge from past experiences. In the process of socialization from childhood to adulthood, we acquire our fears. Usually, from the people who were either closest or most influential to us. This usually happens in a subconscious manner. If these people are reference points or role models for us, their fears will point out dangers and unpleasant situations for us to avoid.

If we drag these fears along with us for a long time and we allow them to grow and occupy an ample space in our day-to-day lives, we are allowing them to become a recurrent filter, among many that we use to process reality. In order for this to not happen, it’s positive to know where these fears come from and take action. In the face of fear: action and commitment.

girl in a jar

“If the challenge is against yourself, the opponent is within.”

When your motivation is fear itself

Fear is a primitive emotion which has given way to the survival of the human race. As with every other emotion, if regulated, it has a functional value. Yet, if it is unregulated, it is one of the most harmful emotions we can experience. If our fears take over our lives, these lives will now be directed by avoidance. Also, by anxiety and irrational behaviors. It might also lead to disorders of great depression.


When our actions are motivated by fear, we don’t enjoy ourselves or life. We simply seek to suffocate the unease that is being produced, seek to pause or slow down its growth. There are many types of fears. An individual may feel scared by specific elements such as ghosts, dogs, water, pigeons, etc. But there are also fears which are more diffuse, such as the fear of talking to strangers, starting something new, speaking in public, flying, etc.

The list of things we’re scared of can be infinite. One fear can have several different meanings and manifestations for each individual. Even though, the strategies used in a therapeutic consult to attempt to overcome them are similar. They focus on the common denominator of all fears. In order to confront our fears, we need to relax, calm down and observe objectively, contrasting them with facts in order for our reaction to be appropriate and positive. If you can’t kill the monsters, tame them.

woman with hand covering face

“Fear is always willing to see things in a worse version than they truly are.”
-Tito Livio-

Identify your fear and get to know your opponent

The first step to overcoming your fears is understanding their origin. Meditation and self-evaluation establish the path to understanding ourselves and getting to know our true opponent.

Where do our fears come from? Fear can come from something that has been said to us, something we have seen or previous experiences. Once we know the cause, we can start to work on overcoming them. In order to identify the cause, it’s good to examine the beliefs that support our phobias.

Beliefs that leads us to fears, these are excessive thoughts which are activated without the presence of any real threat. In these situations, a distortion occurs in the system of fear. There is a distortion in our emotions which is provoked by our beliefs.

girl and butterflies

Our fears are enemies that paralyze us. Enemies which only exist in our mind and which keep us from performing necessary conducts on a daily basis. Even though, from the outside, these are not enough of a reason to feel incapacitated. Identifying and confront them will allow us to see that most fears are excessive and only serve to cover up insecurities.

When we find ourselves in a situation we don’t like and feel like running away, the best thing to do is act. In order to do so, make a journey through your internal world, without losing sight of the external references. First of all, analyze whether your fears are real or imaginary. In case they are real, a good initiative consists in looking at the situation we find ourselves in, generating alternatives of action and making a decision. If they’re imaginary, you can put into practice what we have said throughout the whole article!

“No one has reached the top in the company of fear.”
-Publio Siro-